If there is one game on New Year’s Day that will garner the most attention, it should be the Orange Bowl as the 12-1 Northern Illinois Huskies face the 11-2 Florida State Seminoles at 8:30 p.m. Eastern in Miami. There has been talk ever since Northern Illinois got this berth about if they should even be in Miami. I just believe that all the talk has just put a big chip on the shoulders of the Huskies.
Northern Illinois is led by their quarterback Jordan Lynch, who ranked third in the nation for total offense and fourth for rushing. This is the key to the whole game with Lynch. If Lynch plays close to his regular season level, NIU has a real chance to win this game. Florida State must contain Lynch and actually want to play in this game to have a chance. There are questions to how much Florida State really thinks this will be a competitive game.
This game will be much closer than a lot of people expect as Northern Illinois is a talented team that will give Florida State fits. Florida State is prone to turnovers and that could be their undoing in this game. I think Northern Illinois will be able to run the ball against a tough Seminoles defense and I also believe that the Huskies win this game. I’ll take Northern Illinois 27-21 to shock most of the college football world. The Huskies hasn’t been given much respect since this berth and that will be the motivating factor. It will be an upset that will shake up college football for a long time.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.